On Tuesday, Mastercard announced it is expanding its partnership with OnwardUS, a coalition of governors, funders and technology companies helping over 17 million workers who have been laid off or furloughed because of COVID-19. Developed by Shift3Technologies, OnwardUS is an online resource that connects displaced employees with essential resources like money, food and shelter as well as jobs, retraining and upskilling opportunities that most closely match their needs.
“While the US is experiencing unprecedented job losses, there are several sectors that are ramping up and need more workers during and following the pandemic,” said Laura D. Tyson, a Global Economy Fellow at the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth and former chair of the president’s council of Economic advisers during the Clinton administration, in the April 21 announcement. “Platforms like OnwardUS can help build the necessary infrastructure to keep workers in the labor force and put the country in a better position for a strong and inclusive economic recovery.”
OnwardUS is launching in California and Colorado first, but the plan is to make it available in all 50 states. In California, to date, the online platform has added 113,000 available jobs and matched more than 312,000 users with resources.
Mastercard’s partnership with OnwardUS extends the company’s commitment to small business owners and their staff during the COVID-19 pandemic. Earlier this month, Mastercard committed $250 million over the next five years to support the financial security of small businesses across the United States. The funds will be used to protect small businesses through free cyber vulnerability assessments and identity theft protection. Eligible businesses are those who qualify to participate in the Paycheck Protection Program.
“When our small businesses suffer our nation suffers, so it is incumbent upon all to ensure that we’re supporting the businesses who are the lifeblood of our economy and pillars of our communities,” said Michael Miebach, president of Mastercard. “We are leveraging our network, insights, technology and partnerships to deliver the resources small business owners need now to help them sustain their business as they quickly adapt to a new way of operating and evolved customer needs.”
Through a donation from the Mastercard Center for Inclusive Growth, OnwardUS can leverage Mastercard’s technology, tools and expertise to provide vital resources to families during this difficult time. In addition, Mastercard will work with government and social impact partners to identify experts, organizations and possible funding sources to increase the efficacy of the OnwardUS platform.
“As the nation faces staggering challenges, the private sector has a vital role to play in helping Americans achieve financial security by bringing its technology to the table through partnerships like OnwardUS,” Michael Froman, vice chairman and president of strategic srowth, said. “Through OnwardUS, we look forward to creating more resilient societies and helping people make the transition back to work.”
Jake Soberal, CEO and co-founder of Bitwise Industries, commented on Mastercard’s support of OnwardUS.
“OnwardUS, developed by Shift3 Technologies, was built to scale to be responsive to the growing needs of American workers who have been impacted by COVID-19. The contributions of Mastercard make the site more impactful and will allow it to serve even more people during this crisis,” said Soberal.
They say it takes a village to raise a child. It will take an entire nation to support the millions of workers and businesses negatively impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. Though the COVID-19 circumstances that brought about the collaboration about are devastating and daunting, it is exciting to see the innovation that is occurring, and the partnerships that are blossoming as companies, nonprofits and individuals work together to support their neighbors and their communities. We congratulate Mastercard and their partners for embarking on such a venture.